by Joe Clancy ’18
Though perhaps one of rock and roll’s most unrecognized superstars, Bob Seger kicked off his Runaway Train Tour across the United States last month. This past Thursday, Seger rocked the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. The Garden, which fits nearly 20,000 people, was filled to the brim to see an artist most people confuse with Bob Saget. The 72 year old Detroit cowboy played for nearly three hours (of course he was wearing his Tigers hat).
Despite beginning his music career in 1961, Seger only really started to get attention and fame after he formed the Silver Bullet Band in 1973. The band had some initial hits like “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” and “Turn the Page.” “Turn the Page” is one of Seger’s most enduring songs, having been covered by bands like Metallica, Bruce Springsteen, and even Jason Aldean.
Seger and the Silver Bullet Band received widespread fame after the release of their Night Moves album, which was a blues and rock album that covered the themes of freedom and looseness of youth. The title song, “Night Moves,” was named by Rolling Stone as the Best Song of the Year of 1977. It has also been used in modern hit TV shows like 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, That 70’s Show, and even Family Guy.
In 1978, Seger and the Silver Bullet Band released perhaps their most well known song of all time, “Old Time Rock and Roll.” Now every Halloween, you can be assured that at least one girl on campus will be dressed as Tom Cruise from the famous scene in Risky Business where he lip syncs to the song in a collared shirt and his underwear.
Over the next few years, they released songs like “Still the Same” and “Like a Rock,” which received a great deal of air time on the radio. One of their last famous albums, Against the Wind, was released in 1980. That title song was a tribute to Seger himself, who reflects on his days with his girlfriend and how he has grown older. The song can be heard in the scene in Forrest Gump where Forrest felt like running across the country.
With that much exposure and recognition, it is hard to believe that Seger is still not as well known as some one-hit wonders. That is because Seger was a long time hold out of having his music go digital. Originally, he wanted his music to slowly fade out with him. The producers stopped album production and started to crack down hard on unauthorized use. However, Seger reversed his stance and let the music go public. One thing is for sure, Bob Seger is the unsung cowboy of rock and roll.